Sunday, October 6, 2013

Road Trip Day 5

Early Saturday morning we made a last minute decision to try and go to the Balloon Fiesta Park in time for the Mass Ascension. We were advised by the hotel staff that although we were fairly close to the Fiesta grounds, we should allow an hour to get there in traffic. The ascension was scheduled to begin at 7 am and we left the hotel about 5:30 am. About two miles from the exit we hit stopped traffic and waited in line to exit and make our way to the parking area. By the time we were parked and got to the fiesta grounds it was 7:30, but early morning winds had delayed the mass ascension and we were there in time to witness it. It is quite wonderful to watch the huge balloons being inflated on the ground and slowly fill to their full height, then lift off to a cheer from the surrounding crowd to join the scores of balloons already aloft. We watched until most of the balloons had launched then walked among the concessions for a little souvenir shopping. The park was beginning to empty as we found our way back to the car and headed back to the hotel. After a short rest we drove into old town Albuquerque for some more souvenir hunting. We wandered in and out of the many shops and were entertained by a Mariachi band in the town square and an Incan pan-pipe band in a nearby plaza.

We were ready to eat when we finished shopping but we all agreed we were ready for something besides southwestern food. A local resident recommended a nearby winery restaurant so we gave it a try. We give it mixed reviews on the food, but the bottle of Gewurztraminer we shared was very good.

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